Interview with Looije’s Mervyn Noordam

Near the end of January of 2014, the tomato grower known as Looije, took a brave and ambitious step and moved their expanded office and packing area to Naaldwijk (The Westland, Netherlands). The renowned company that supplies the exclusive ‘Honey Tomatoes®’, continues to invest in the future. The impressive new company headquarters showcases the success and vision of this company’, as well as one of its core value of ‘quality above all’. Our team spoke with Mervyn Noordam to look back on the most recent developments! It is clear when visiting or speaking with management there is a keen eye for quality and focus in everything they do. The rigor for perfection in all the products they produce is significant, and products must pass numerous quality checks for taste and quality before being released to market. These premium trusses shimmer with pristine quality through their exclusive packaging, which makes you wonder whether these are tomatoes, or jewels! In the new packing area for these jewel like tomatoes, Viscon has designed, engineered, and installed the complete infeed and out feed packing lines. The packing lines which were being used in the previous installation have become the basis for the new packing area in Naaldwijk. Full integration of “tracking and tracing software” is a significant feature of the new supply system. This is of great importance in times where food safety concerns have become heightened at all levels of the food chain. Outside of the new supply and dispatch line, Viscon has also installed a revolutionary design of a pallet lift system, to facilitate the future expected growth of the company.

A key reason to keep working with the Viscon team is experience, creativity, and flexibility in solutions proposed by the company. – Mervyn Noordam, Looije

Looije chose to collaborate with Viscon Fresh produce in their new expansion project, built on the relationship and many years of trust of these two growth oriented companies. The very first automation at Looije was implemented with Viscon, in large part due to Viscon’s experience developing specialized systems for fresh produce packing areas. These many years have seen numerous successful collaborations and we have built a strong base of trust in both the products of Viscon, and the people behind Viscon itself. Like any new innovation projects, not everything this team collaborated on was an immediate success, but in the end, through the relationship, a satisfying solution was always found. Looije has commented that a key reason to keep working with the Viscon team is experience, creativity, and flexibility in solutions proposed by the company. Even in larger projects, sometimes smaller adjustments, that are simple and effective, are the often the best solutions, and Viscon recognizes this as well. Looije aims to empower people to enjoy a healthy lifestyle through their products. This requires a great deal of focus on quality, and this is apparent in the entire organization. Viscon takes it as a great compliment that Looije has chosen Viscon as a partner for many years now, and we hope for many years to come!

Our latest innovation! All in one concept: Sigma – High speed check weighing

Viscon introduces a new high speed check weighing line for mushrooms and soft fruits. The latest in LED technology, combined with new weighing techniques developed in cooperation with our partners at ‘Siemens’. Sigma will provide you with the most innovative check weighing techniques available in the market today. The new Sigma provides faster more accurate weighing, with minimal giveaway. The main advantage of this new check weighing line is the speed with which underweight and overweight can be assessed and corrected. The Sigma uses the newest in LED Lights to indicate exactly what amount of mushrooms/product needs to be added or removed into the weighed punnets. This allows the production employees to correct the weight more easily and quickly, which results into increased capacities. This is a major advantage when receiving a high or low percentage of punnets with over- or underweight. Within the new check weighing line, punnets are placed on a conveyor, which passes them to the check weighing device. This is followed by a line-separating device which separates the punnets into correction lines based on the categories “correct-weight”, “overweight”, and “underweight”. After, the weighed product are corrected on individual belt weighers by a production employee. Five individual belt weighers are placed one after the other, which allows the worker to correct more efficiently. Once closed and labelled, punnets pass through a metal detector before being packed into cases, ready for distribution. The new Sigma system can capture different programs with a clear and free programmable communication interface. Viscon also provides all additional material handling that is desired such as: palletisers, stackers, discharge units for punnets, and case packers.

Combivliet – Growing Together!

Combivliet, is a company bursting with good people, ideas, and ambitions as outlined in the Combivliet website. This Dutch based company lives up to its’ reputation as Viscon has just installed the third expansion at Combivliet! Viscon & Combivliet have a long and fruitful history together. In 2007 the first project was completed between the partners in the location ‘Zeevliet’, in Rilland. In Rilland, a complete weighing and packing line for tomatoes on the vine was installed. Again in 2008 a production line for tomatoes on the vine was installed in location ‘Zuidvliet’ in Maasijk. Then in 2010 the company started the design for a new location in Middenmeer in the north of the Netherlands, named ‘Noordvliet’. In Middenmeer a production line was installed for the processing of 36 hectares of tomatoes on the vine. These 3 phases have been built over a three year period. Due to the modular design of Viscon systems, the packing area could be installed in separate phases. Today, the production area can process a total of 42.000 kilo’s of tomatoes, all of which are being packed in 5 kg boxes. Viscon’s specialism and professionalism was instrumental in the automatic handling of boxes and pallets, proving excellent value in the design of an efficient, labor savings, logistics process. Combivliet’s mission statement is ‘growing together’, and that is exactly what the company is demonstrating in partnership with the Viscon Group. Viscon is proud to be a long term supplier and trusted partner with this visionary company!

Agrocare – Knowlegde + Craft + Love

Agrocare is one of Viscon’s most distinguished customers, with dealings dating back to 2000. Agrocare & Viscon have been collaborating since the inception of the company’s launch of the ‘cocktail tomatoes on the vine’ segment. Recently, we assisted in the expansion project to help prepare and alleviate challenges associated with the company’s large projected growth. Over the years we have installed several machine lines, and in 2007, their packing areas were integrated with those of the packing centre known as Greenpack Holland. In 2007 Agrocare began with 10 hectare phase of new production in Middenmeer. A few short years later Agrocare has expanded to a total of 50 hectares under glass. Again in 2014 Viscon was asked to assist with another expansion to prepare the company for the handling of tomatoes coming from the expanded footprint of 60 hectares of production. Agrocare is the originator of a new concept focusing on premium tomatoes: ‘Tazed’. ‘Knowledge + Craft + Love = One Very Fine Tomato’. These tomatoes are so sweet and intense that they have been classified as a super food! The tazed tomatoes are also a base for the line of ‘cricks’ products where these tomatoes have been processed to: ketchup, tomato juice, liquor, etc. Agrocare is innovating and growing at a pace that never seems to slow down into the future! Viscon wishes Agrocare much success with all of their future undertakings!